Comments on: Did Saddleback “faith quiz” cross church-state divide? Religion, faith and ethics Sat, 23 Apr 2016 23:25:07 +0000 hourly 1 By: RAYCRETIRED Tue, 06 Apr 2010 20:07:48 +0000 A retired Naval Office, I have been a member of a Southern Baptist Church sice 1953. For Rick Warren, a fellow Southern Baptist, to compose a list of questions that merely reflected the talking points of McCain was inexcusable and reflects extrememly poor judgement on his part..

By: OK Jack Sun, 31 Aug 2008 23:43:13 +0000 Posted by: Tom Heneghan: “As religion editor, I naturally have a strong professional interest in seeing religion discussed in public. I also think a candidate’s religious views are relevant when they clearly shape his or her political stands. So I’m not against asking such questions in principle.”

Unlike Mr. Heneghan, Mr. & Mrs. Reader, I am against asking ANYBODY what their religious views are…INCLUDING those of politicians…and ESPECIALLY including the religious views of presidential candidates.

The referenced unconstitutional political-religious forum (i.e., so called Saddleback) is certainly worth commenting on…and strongly…from my point view. It was designed by Warren to trap Obama and was clearly a McCain/Warren v. Obama “extravaganza”.

Why an American presidential candidate feels that it is somehow necessary to cater (i.e., pander) to a particular religion…and in this case a particular protestant congregation (i.e., the Warren group)…is beyond me. Frankly, I’m astonished! I’m also astonished that the so called free press in America has not issued a public challenge to all politicians when it comes to their mixing of religion and politics/government. The First Amendment covers the press as well as religion…not to mention the freedom of speech that I am personally engaging in here through a Reuters web log.

First and foremost, the First Amendment (Bill of Rights) to the U.S. Constitution specifically prohibits the U.S. congress from making any law with respect to the establishment of ANY religion…and grants the personal irrevocable freedom to each American to exercise his/her personal religious beliefs (or lack thereof) in private, i.e., outside the public political policy arena.

The U.S. Constitution’s banning of congress from passing a bill with respect to religion means that no such bill can reach the president’s desk for signature. Therefore, the First Amendment also tells all Americans that the president cannot publicly dabble in any particular religious public policy either. That is, the president can do what he likes in private…but when it comes to exercising the office of the presidency, religion has no place in public policy.

This is not my idea, but I certainly agree with it…and to prove it, I (and not just Mr. McCain by the way) wore the active duty uniform of our great nation in wartime in a war zone to ensure the separation of church and state. For a quarter of a century, I was prepared to give my life to keep this separation of church and state, and would gladly do so again.

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

As far as I’m concerned, anything religious is a personal and private thing…and should remain so. This includes the personal and private beliefs of a presidential candidate.

A candidate simply cannot cater to one religion, without insulting all other religions. As a matter fact, catering to only one particular protestant voting block insults the Catholic voting block (and other protestant voter groups as well)…even though all are Christians. In other words, where does a candidate draw the line? The framers of the U.S. Constitution figured this out more than 2 centuries ago!

Personally, I think that catering to protestant evangelicals is simply catering to white voters. It is nothing more than a masquerade for racial favoritism. Mr. McCain, for instance, has not tried to hide his racial courting of voters. Neither did Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Obama is now resorting to the same thing. Unfortunately for him, his white half doesn’t show…so it is much more difficult for him to court white voters who vote according to their race.

Since the dawn of man, more people have been killed in the name of religion (to include Christianity) and racial purity than for any other reasons. This is precisely why the founding fathers, i.e., the framers of the U.S. Constitution, specifically banned any relationship between government and religion. Of course, they did this through the Bill of Rights, i.e., the first of the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights required ratification of 3/4 of the states.

Mr. Warren knows as well as anybody, that he and his congregation are making an obvious end run around the U.S. Constitution by preaching politics from the pulpit. Perhaps if his nontaxable status was questioned, he (and his religious group) would keep their personal beliefs private (i.e., out of the public policy arena)…instead of literally throwing them in the face of others by trying to make Americans believe that a presidential candidate’s faith (or lack thereof) is a constitutional litmus test for election to the presidency. As a matter of fact, Warren and his protestant evangelical group are making Christianity itself a litmus test for election to the presidency! How blatantly unconstitutional can these people possibly get!

I’ve been watching this type of unconstitutional nonsense for a long time, and it scares me just as much if not more than the Russians or the Iranians do. It is what I call the sabotage of “this Constitution for the United States of America”…sabotage from within. As a matter of fact, all of our First Amendment rights, privileges and responsibilities are under fire…and have been for a long time. This applies especially to the past 8 years of an administration whose members have been masquerading as being Christ-like in order to garner the votes of such as Mr. Warren and his group.

Frankly, it has been both embarrassing and disgusting to have to watch all of this…just as watching the Clinton administration was (only for different reasons).

After 16 long years, I’m looking forward to getting some fresh air in Washington…both on Capitol Hill and at the White House. I’ve got my fingers crossed…real tight.

OK Jack

By: Tom Heneghan Fri, 22 Aug 2008 21:00:55 +0000 For anyone trying to find the balance on this issue, check out Martin Marty’s eloquent post “Using God Politically” on On Faith ( ith/martin_marty).

By: Marie Devine Fri, 22 Aug 2008 18:27:30 +0000 Separation of Church and State is not in our Constitution. It is an error to condemn religions participation in voting, government, education, etc. #Am1
“Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

If it did appear in the Constitution, this is what it would NOT mean:

White House, House of Representatives, Senate:

Making decisions: ??? what to do ??? what to do ???

Suggestions for solutions: man’s idea, woman’s idea,
president’s idea, military’s idea, God’s word.

Unacceptable solution: God’s word.

God is His word, His wisdom, His guidance,
His protection and His faithfulness to His word.

In what important decision
would you want to ignore His wisdom?
Even unbelievers want righteous people in government. All things must be done the Divine-Way to have God’s blessings and not cursings of Leviticus 26.

By: Gina Fri, 22 Aug 2008 15:06:25 +0000 Well, now that Steven Strang has left a vacancy for a religious endorsement, on the stage at Barack’s coronation ceremony, maybe Barack should come out of the closet and recruit the religious leaders who have always supported him … and, who Barack has always supported. Pastor Jeremiah Wright … Father Phleiger … and the rest of the radicals. But, we know Barack won’t do that, because even though that represents who Barack truly is … it wouldn’t help Barack deceive us … and get him elected. In November, vote for Senator John McCain, a man who truly loves America, with over 40 years of service and sacrafice … not Obama, an inexperienced, incompetent, empty suit, who is being agressively packaged and sold to the American people.

By: Ann Burge Thu, 21 Aug 2008 18:48:51 +0000 I’m not sure what the purpose of the Saddleback Session was, I did watch it just out of curosity. I learned nothing from it, McCain’s answeres were so scripted and memorized it was boring, my friends! If he used that term one more time I will scream. Equally, I was not impressed with Obama’s answers, although I truly believe that his answers were more personable, unlike my friends!

I would have never agreed to something of this nature, it proved nothing for Obama, amist his fellow republicans in the audience, it seemed to me it was a payback, for the NAACP convention that McCain attended.


Of COURSE McCain knows how many properties he owns. It just makes better sense to say “I’ll get back to you on that”, IN ORDER TO SPEND TIME DISCUSSING IMPORTANT ISSUES.

I’ve heard all my life that real estate is a great investment (long-term). I imagine McCain heard the same thing.

Senator Obama, how many states will you be presiding over if you get a term in the White House? — 57? Really? Well, we’ve known for months that Senator Obama might have trouble with his counting skills!

The fact is John McCain is the real deal. A man who put his country first before himself. He is a true patriot who is willing to stand up against a resurgent Russia, developing China and to continue the war against Al Qaeda.

Being a community organizer in Chicago, cannot compare to John McCain’s sacrifices for his country.

Vote for John McCain in 2008!

By: eric Thu, 21 Aug 2008 16:57:37 +0000 Thank you Mark for the correction. I knew my memory of it wasn’t exactly right – hence my paraphrase disclaimer. But the substance of my point stands. Evil’s not an entity. Which evil? Under what circumstances? The question is a reification fallacy. (Search wikipedia for reification fallacy.)

You clarify the meanings of each of the options. For example you say: “By holding get-togethers (negotiating with it).” I reiterate – evil is an abstraction. You can’t call it up and schedule a meeting.

So, it is very unfortunate that my paraphrase wasn’t right. And I really do appreciate the correction. But my point is still right on the money. The question reveals a disturbing need for simple answers to meaningless questions.

By: rudy Thu, 21 Aug 2008 13:11:53 +0000 Good comment, Sonia.

By: Sonia Kermaz Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:01:43 +0000 Would we ask such questions of a surgeon or a car mechanic? The task of a public servant isn’t to get us into heaven but to address the hell of a mess we’ve made on earth.

Faith is blind, government shouldn’t be.